Garlic Soup with Vegetables, Ham, & Fried Egg

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Mar 10, 2010 at 7:02pm

Another egg. I know! But what can I say? Garlic soup ladled over a fried egg is a classic dish and one of the yummiest things on the planet, so there it is. I added vegetables and ham to the soup, because I had vegetables and ham to use and I knew they’d rock with an egg. And oh, in the photo there are beans as well, because I had beans to use too. That’s the beauty of soup, right? You can make it your own.

I like fried eggs a little crispy at the edges, but some would call me crazy for it (among other things). Certainly cook your eggs more gently if that’s how you like them.

I put the egg in a bowl first, then ladle the soup over. A sprinkle of cheese and lots of freshly ground black pepper make an awfully delicious finish.

You can customize this soup a hundred different ways – as you might imagine, it would be amazing with toasted, crusty bread or fried croutons. Use pancetta or bacon instead of ham. Or use no meat at all and vegetable broth for a vegetarian version. Add a pinch of dried red pepper flakes – or paprika, which is traditional – if you like a little heat. You could add cooked navy beans (like I did) or garbanzos. Peas and tarragon instead of celery and thyme would be spring-y and French. You get the picture. Just don’t skip the egg – it’s heavenly.

Garlic Soup with Vegetables, Ham, & Fried Egg
Serves 4

6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced very thinly
1/4 c. olive oil (divided)
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, washed carefully and sliced thinly
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
2 stalks celery, diced small
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced small
6 oz. ham, diced small
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 c. white wine
32 oz. chicken stock or broth
4 medium eggs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated cheese (Parmesan or Gruyere)

In a Dutch oven, heat 3 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add garlic, turn heat to low, and saute until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the leek, carrots, celery, potato, ham, thyme, and a sprinkle of salt, turn heat to medium, and saute until vegetables are softening but not brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in wine and simmer for 1-2 minutes, then stir in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste and keep warm.

Set out four soup bowls. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry eggs to desired doneness, seasoning with salt & pepper. Place one egg in each of four bowls, ladle soup over, top with grated cheese and freshly ground pepper, and serve immediately.

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